Follow by Email

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

POSSE SEND STEAM PACKING ON NEW YEARS' EVE

For the third time in 12 days, the Summerland Steam and Princeton Posse got set to do battle on New Years Eve. For the Posse they were coming off a long break with their last game being December 20th against the Steam. Summerland came in having played on Saturday and Sunday, losing both games in heartbreaking fashion to the league-leading Osoyoos Coyotes. Saturday night saw Summerland defeated by a Troy Maclise powerplay goal with :11 seconds left, while they managed a point on Sunday but ultimately fell short in a 4-3 overtime loss.

The Steam came into Wednesday night's New Years Eve tilt looking to turn the tide on their last two games. Even though they played extremely well against the Coyotes, results are what matters and they didn't get the ones they wanted last weekend. They knew coming in the needed to get back to what they did to make them successful the previous weekend against Princeton before the Holiday Break.

With a 5:30 start looming, both Summerland and Princeton were going to have to break routine and get ready for the early start. Summerland started well in the first five minutes of the hockey game, peppering Stephen Heslop in the Princeton net with shot after shot. Unfortunately they weren't successful in their attempts, and the first goal of the game was scored at the other end on Steam goalie Spencer Huff. The goal was scored by Estevan Hale when he found a lane from the right point and fired a shot up and over Huff for his 5th of the season.

Despite pressure from Summerland, Connor Sloan was able to double the Posse lead before the end of the 1st after the Steam got a little undisciplined. Back to back penalties late in the period allowed Princeton to gain some momentum and with just under 3 minutes to play Sloan located a puck out of a scramble in front of Spencer Huff and deposited his 9th of the season.

In the second the pace stayed the same and the two teams continued to get after each other. Both took a couple of penalties, giving the other powerplay opportunities, but none were succesful. While playing at 4on4 in the middle of the second frame the Posse added to their lead. Jamieson Ree pinched down from the left point to pick up a stray clearing attempt from the Summerland net, spun and fired, surprising Huff and sending the Posse to a 3-0 lead.

The three goal lead wouldn't last long for Princeton, as just over 2 minutes later Cody Egilson was able to locate a rebound and finally beat Posse goaltender Stephen Heslop to cut the lead back down to 2. Egilson's 4th of the season got the Steam a little life and they were able to swarm the zone for the remaining 7 minutes of the period. Unfortunately they were again unsuccessful, and the period would end in a 3-1 Posse lead.

The third period brought a fresh 20 minutes to the clock, but nothing fresh to the hockey game. It was status quo between the Summerland Steam and the Princeton Posse until the 9 minute mark when Connor Wilson collected his first goal (and first point) of the season. A long point shot from Wilson found it's way through a maze of bodies and past Spencer Huff to give the Posse their 3 goal lead back. This time they wouldn't relinquish their 4-1 lead, and despite back and forth action to both ends of the ice the score would show no change when the final buzzer sounded.

The Steam close out the 2014 portion of their schedule on an unfortunate 3 game losing streak, but have played extremely well in all three games. Tonight they put 37 shots on Posse goaltender Stephen Heslop and controlled puck possession for most of the night, but were unable to beat the Posse netminder.

They will now turn their attention to the Sicamous Eagles, who pay their one and only visit to the Summerland Arena on Friday, January 2nd at 7:30 PM. The Steam will then climb back on the bus and go back to Princeton for a 2PM start on Sunday afternoon in meeting #6 of 8 on the season.

GAME DAY: SUMMERLAND STEAM @ PRINCETON POSSE


After a disappointing weekend series with the Osoyoos Coyotes, the Sumerland Steam are back in action on New Years' Eve when they face off with the Princeton Posse for the 3rd time in 12 days. Their last meeting resulted in a 3-0 win for Summerland heading into the Christmas break, and they'll be hoping to add to their lead on the Posse in the division standings. Puck drop is at 5:30 from Princeton and you can catch all the action with Doug and the Posse WebCrew on kijhl.ca













VS







14-15-2-2, 32 pts
RECORD
22-10-0-2, 46 pts
7-9-1-1
HOME / AWAY
RECORD
10-6
L3
STREAK
L2
2-8

LAST 10 GAMES
7-2-0-1
3RD, OKANAGAN DIVISION
DIVISION RANK
2ND, OKANAGAN DIVISION
98
2.97 GF PER GM (T-16TH, KIJHL)
GOALS FOR
116
3.41 GF PER GM (9TH, KIJHL)
106
3.21 PER GM (10TH, KIJHL)
GOALS AGAINST
87
2.56 GA PER GAME (3RD, KIJHL)
15.44% (13TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 12.82% (18TH, KIJHL)
POWERPLAY %
OVERALL: 18.54% (8TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 10.45% (16TH, KIJHL)
82.86% (11TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 86.30% (7TH, KIJHL)
PENALTY KILL %
OVERALL: 85.79% (6TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 84.88% (5TH, KIJHL)
16g + 11a = 27 PTS
LEADING SCORER
23g + 13a = 36 PTS (13TH, KIJHL)

Monday, 29 December 2014

STEAM SWEPT IN WEEKEND CLASH WITH 'YOTES

Coming out of the Holiday break, the Summerland Steam were hoping to build on the momentum they'd gained early in December and close the gap on the division leading Coyotes. Turns out they didn't get the results they wanted, gaining only 1 of 4 points, but the result shouldn't be what they takeaway from this series of games. What they should take away from these games is that they skated stride for stride with the best team in the KIJHL, worked their tails off for 120 minutes and outplayed the Coyotes for long stretches in both games.

Saturday night saw the Steam get out to an early deficit, as the Coyotes went up 1-0 in the first period on a long screen shot from Daniel Stone. The puck came in off the right point at the blue line, through a maze of bodies, and past Steam goaltender Brett Huber to give the Coyotes their lead. Summerland had their chances to tie it late in the first as they pushed in the offensive zone, but couldn't beat Brett Soles in the Osoyoos net.

The Coyotes would add to their lead in the second on a goal that NOBODY expected to count. After the Coyotes buzzed around the Summerland zone for several minutes, a shot came in that hit Brett Huber in the shoulder. It popped up in the air, and from behind the net, Rory Neary batted it down off of Huber's back and into the net to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead.

The third period showed a big difference from the first 2, as Summerland came out and took the pressure to the Coyotes. They were able to tie the game thanks to two quick goals from Wyatt Gale and Jack Mills, and continued to pressure inside the Coyotes' zone for a third goal. They were unsuccessful, and just when it looked like the game was headed for overtime, referee McMahon pulled his whistle out for the first time on the night to call a soft boarding penalty on Jack Mills with 1:30 to go.

This put the league's best home powerplay to work and they made no mistake, as Troy Maclise was able to one-time a puck past Huber in the Summerland net with just :11 left on the clock to give the Coyotes the victory.

The loss left a sour taste in the mouths of the Summerland Steam, as they felt they were done a disservice on the part of the officials. Cody Egilson and Adam Jones received game misconducts at the end of the game, causing them to be suspended for Sunday night's contest. They were upset with the officials' penalty call on Mills with 1:30 to go, and were gesturing to the bench where their teammate, Riley Pettitt, was recovering from a cross check in the face that took place :08 before the Mills penalty.

Leading into Sunday night the Steam were obviously looking for some redemption. They played a heck of a game on Saturday night in Osoyoos, and came up short with just :11 on the clock. On Sunday they came out on fire. In the first 4 minutes it didn't seem as though Osoyoos got a stick on the puck at all, and Jarrett Malchow was able to put the Steam ahead just 5 minutes into the hockey game. Malchow took a pass from Riley Pettitt and peeled off the wall to the middle of the ice. He had one shot which was stopped by Brett Soles, but he followed up on his own rebound and buried it for his 4th of the season.

Malchow would get his 5th of the season in the final minute, with just :02 to play in the first period, as he got a shot off on the wing and again followed up on his own rebound. This put the Steam out to a 2-0 lead after one. The first period of Sunday night's game was an entertaining one with both teams giving each other a couple of powerplays and taking some liberties, which is expected when these two teams meet.

The second period was much different, however, as both teams were still taking liberties, but referee Bronson Tazelaar decided his whistle was not needed. In all, two Steam players and one Coyotes' player all left the game for various time periods after taking head contact with no subsequent discipline. Brett Jewell left the game after a hit in the corner from Calvin Hadley that went uncalled and very well could have been a major penalty. Both Brett Anderson and Jackson Dematos took special liberties for Osoyoos in the second period for the Coyotes, as they do every single time the two teams play. Both had four or five step charges go uncalled in the second period that could have also led to major penalties, causing a little bit of mayhem from both sides. One knocked Steam defenseman Michael McEachern out of the game while the other caused Wyatt Gale to miss three or four shifts in the middle of the period.

As for scoring in the period, Troy Maclise notched his 20th of the season to pull the 'Yotes within one. The goal came after some good work in the corner with Maclise eventually finding a lane at the top of the circle to the left of Steam goaltender Spencer Huff. He wired a shot high over the glove of Huff to give the 'Yotes some offensive punch to go with their physicality.

The Steam would restore their 2 goal lead on a powerplay near the middle of the period, as Nick Gnazdowsky was able to take a pass at the bottom of the circle to the left of Brett Soles. He made a sweeping power move out front and went five-hole on Soles to restore the lead and give the Steam some breathing room.

That breathing room would be erased in the third period though, as Rainer Glimpel scored two quick goals back to back to tie the game at 3 just 5 minutes apart. This seemed to settle both teams back down and snap them out of their spell of stupidity and actually focus on playing hockey. They would both get chances to score the go-ahead goal, but were not successful and we headed for OT.

In overtime, the Steam hit 3 goal posts. Those three posts are where this game should have ended. Summerland had their chances to not leave the game hanging in the balance for the officials to cost them, but they left it there. With 1:43 to play in 3on3 OT, Troy Maclise threw a puck to the front of the Summerland net where Jackson Dematos was driving hard. Instead of making a stop in front of the net, with the puck in his skates he bowled right into the Steam net taking himself, the puck, and Spencer Huff into the goal. As a referee, one would have the option to call this goaltender interference, or a kicking motion on the puck because it was BOTH. Instead it was called a goal, which sent the entire building up in arms. We couldn't believe what we saw and neither could Spencer Huff as he ended up flipping the net upside down in anger. Deservedly so, as he was robbed of a win or a tie in a game where he stood on his head.

In this hockey game there wasn't one team that was more at fault than the other. It was two teams doing battle in a rivalry that gets heated at the start of exhibition season. There should have been more called on both sides, no questions asked, and there definitely should have been some more thought go into the call the officiating crew made on the game winner. We've seen guys get game misconducts for less interference than we saw on that winning goal for Osoyoos. The two teams will do battle 3 more times this season, the next match being a Sunday afternoon matinee three weeks from last night in Oliver on January 18th. Faceoff goes at 1:35.

Summerland will now move on and try to get back to their winning ways in Princeton on New Years Eve. it's a 5:30 start from the 'OK Corral' in the Similkameen Valley. You can catch all the action with the Posse's Web Crew on KIJHL.ca

Saturday, 27 December 2014

GAME DAY: SUMMERLAND STEAM VS OSOYOOS COYOTES

Welcome to a new feature on the blog! Every game day (or as many as I can) I will post a 'Comp Chart' between the two teams who will do battle that night in addition to the regular pre-game stuff that gets dug up! Here's the first one:






OSOYOOS COYOTES












VS





SUMMERLAND STEAM

28-6-0-1
RECORD
22-9-0-1
12-2
HOME / AWAY
RECORD
11-5
W2
STREAK
W3

2-8

LAST 10 GAMES
8-2
1ST, OKANAGAN DIVISION
(1ST, KIJHL)
DIVISION RANK
2ND, OKANAGAN DIVISION
172
4.91 GF PER GM (1ST,  KIJHL)
GOALS FOR
111
3.47 GF PER GM (8TH, KIJHL)
86
2.46 PER GM (1ST, KIJHL)
GOALS AGAINST
80
2.50 GA PER GAME (3RD, KIJHL)

22.16% (5TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 28.00% (1ST, KIJHL)
POWERPLAY %

OVERALL: 18.62% (7TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 10.45% (16TH, KIJHL)

82.86% (9TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 86.11% (8TH, KIJHL)
PENALTY KILL %

OVERALL: 85.88% (6TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 85.88% (4TH, KIJHL)

AARON AZEVEDO
17g + 30a = 47 PTS
LEADING SCORER

TYSON KLINGSPOHN
23g + 13a = 36 PTS

Friday, 26 December 2014

STEAM, COYOTES LOCK UP IN 'CLASH OF THE TITANS'

It's a rivalry like no other.Whenever the Summerland Steam and the Osoyoos Coyotes face-off it's a battle between two teams that have a special amount of dislike reserved only for each other. Nothing about that statement will change this weekend as the top two teams in the Okanagan Division go head to head twice. The first meeting will come Saturday when the Steam visit the desert, the second on Sunday when the Coyotes come to Summerland.

SEASON SERIES: 3-0 'Yotes

Summerland is 0-3 against Osoyoos this season, but will look to change that this weekend. In 2 of the first 3 games the teams have played the scores have been fairly lopsided due to a lack of discipline on the part of the Summerland Steam. A 6-2 beating on home ice at the hands of the Coyotes on October 13th saw the season series get off to a rocky start for the Steam. Summerland allowed the league's best powerplay (at the time) to score 4 times with the man advantage en route to the victory.

In the second meeting it was far closer, a 5-4 score that saw both teams go 0-for-3 on the powerplay and play a tight checking, clean, physical hockey game. Both teams played an up-tempo, extremely entertaining hockey game that saw Summerland come up one goal short.

In the third installment of the season series on November 29th, much of the same from the first meeting took place. Osoyoos went 4-for-9 on the powerplay en route to a 7-2 thrashing of Summerland in a game that saw nothing positive go on for the Steam.

If you're like me, you see a common theme here and it's special teams. If Summerland can keep Osoyoos off the powerplay this hockey game will be close. If not, well, we're going to see a result much the same as a 6-2 Osoyoos win or a 7-2 Osoyoos win.

Osoyoos Coyotes

With 11 returnees from last season and over half of their roster at age 19 or above, the Coyotes are as veteran a team as there is in the KIJHL. Players have played in this league before and know exactly what to expect from every team on every night, which should give them an advantage that most teams wouldn't have. Not only are the Coyotes a veteran team but of those 11 returning players from last season, they returned 6 of their top 7 scorers from the 2013/14 team. It's no surprise they are where they are.

The Coyotes are an extremely deep team, particularly up front, and can score with all 4 lines. It shows when you put them on the powerplay and they have 3 of the top scorers in the KIJHL on their top unit, and 3 guys on their 2nd unit that would be top line players on any other team in the KI.

Along with their offensive prowess, the 'Yotes are strong in goal with a tandem of Brett Soles and Lawrence Langan. Both split duties for Head Coach and General Manager Ken Law, and no matter who is between the red pipes for Osoyoos they always have a chance to win. They hold a team Goals Against Average of 2.46, again the best in the league, and are very tough to crack.

Looking at the statistics, it's no secret that the 'Yotes are the best team in the KIJHL. They are quite possibly the best Jr. B team in BC at the moment. They started the season with 12 straight wins and have rolled from there to 57 points and 28 wins in 35 games. They are a complete hockey team playing under a veteran KIJHL coach in Ken Law, who knows how to win hockey games and get the best out of his players.

The Coyotes offensive depth will help them this weekend, as Luc Gradisar will be out of the lineup and Aaron Azevedo may likely miss time as well. Jackson Glimpel will sit Saturday night's game with a 1-game suspension and will likely draw back into the lineup on Sunday night in Summerland for the 'Yotes.

Summerland Steam


Summerland is no doubt in tough in back to back games against the Coyotes this weekend, but they're up for the challenge. The Steam have been rolling of late, winning 8 of their last 10 games and outworking opponents night in and night out. Right now the team is playing their best hockey of the season and clicking on all cylinders, which is exactly what Head Coach John Depourcq has been working on with them leading into the Christmas break.

In those last 10 games, their only losses are at the hands of the Osoyoos Coyotes (7-2, November 29th) and the Chase Heat (4-3, December 12th). With key victories over divisional opponents such as the Princeton Posse, North Okanagan Knights, and Kelowna Chiefs so far in the month of December, the Steam have been able to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the division below them. They trail Osoyoos by 12 points (with 4 games in hand) and lead the Princeton Posse by 13 points and the Kelowna Chiefs by 14.

The Steam will start their post-Christmas schedule trying to push closer to the Coyotes at the top of the division and further distance themselves from the rest of the pack. The Steam have been getting contributions from everywhere since they really picked up the pace at the beginning of November.

Head Coach John Depourcq is getting contributions from up and down his lineup right now and the goaltending from the tandem of Brett Huber and Spencer Huff has been nothing short of exceptional since that 7-2 loss to the Coyotes on November 29th. After a weekend sweep of the Princeton Posse leading into the Christmas break, the Steam will need every bit of that exceptional goaltending and scoring depth in this weekend's series with Osoyoos.

The one key that stands out above all else for the Steam, however, is Special Teams. Summerland has gotten themselves into trouble against Osoyoos so far this season, but when at 5-on-5 play they've kept fairly even. They'll need to stay out of the penalty box this weekend in order to have any chance at some points against a very tough divisional opponent who is VERY good with the man advantage. The Coyotes are particularly on home ice, clipping along at an even 28.00% success rate.

The task may be tough for the Steam, as lately they've been without two of their top penalty killers in Coleton Fisher and Alex Williams. Williams will for sure sit this weekend's action and the next few weeks as well with a hand injury, while Fisher is day-to-day recovering from an upper body injury and could draw back in this weekend.


Puck drop goes at the Sun Bowl Arena in Osoyoos at 7:35 on Saturday night, while the return match goes at the Summerland Arena on Sunday NIGHT at 7:30. Tickets for Sunday's game can be purchased in advance at Nesters Market in downtown Summerland or at the door prior to puck drop!





Monday, 22 December 2014

STEAM COMPLETE HOME AND HOME SWEEP OF POSSE

After a battle in the Similkameen on Friday night, the Summerland Steam and the Princeton Posse went head to head again on Saturday in the back end of a home and home. Summerland won the first matchup 2-1, and were looking to duplicate the result.

Both teams came out looking to get on the board early, but both were unsuccessful. The first period remained scoreless to the final buzzer, although there were more penalties in the period than there were in Friday night's game. The intensity was heightened from the very beginning and the two teams began to show their distaste for one another early on.

In the second there wasn't much change as both teams continued to put shots on net while playing an extremely physical hockey game. Both starting goaltenders, Brett Huber for Summerland and Stephen Heslop for Princeton, were tested throughout the first half of the hockey game without being beaten.

The tide seemed to turn at 15:11 of the second period, when Princeton's Jamieson Ree took a penalty for charging. It wasn't the penalty itself that seemed to give the Steam their edge, but the fact that while taking a penalty for charging, Ree collided with his teammate, forward Brandon Schaber. The injury to Schaber, one of the key forwards for the Posse, seemed to stir the Posse up a little bit.

On that powerplay the Steam were unable to beat the Posse, although they controlled the play. It wasn't long after the powerplay that Summerland took a 1-0 lead thanks to Braden Eliuk's 6th of the season. After some good work to clear the defensive zone from Jack Mills, Cole Woodliffe was able to chase down a Princeton defender and beat him to the puck before finding Eliuk in the slot. Eliuk made no mistake going low to the blocker side of Stephen Heslop to stake his team to the lead.

 Heslop had the tougher night of the two goaltenders, as Summerland went hard to the net and knocked him around 2 or three times in the first 30 minutes of the hockey game. Riley Petttitt was the third and final one to do it, and was punished accordingly, as referee Devin Samaadar assessed Pettitt 2 minutes for goaltender interference and a game misconduct with :33 to play in the second period.

In the third, on a Steam penalty kill, newcomer Nicholas Gnazdowsky finally found the scoresheet. He was able to skate a puck through the neutral zone on the penalty kill, step over the blue line and wire a wrister high over Heslop to extend the Steam's lead to 2-0. In 4 games with the Steam, Gnazdowsky has had about a dozen chances to pot his first, and he was finally able to on Saturday night.

The second Steam goal was a nice cushion, as it gave Brett Huber some room to work with in the Steam net. He was sharp in the final 10 minutes of the hockey game, thwarting every opportunity that the Princeton Posse generated. He would finish with a 29 save shutout and first star honours on the night, while Jarrett Malchow was able to seal the victory with an empty netter in the final minute of the hockey game.

It was found out after the game that Brandon Schaber had completely shattered his nose and will require reconstructive surgery. The Steam wish Brandon Schaber all the best in his recovery and hope to see him back on the ice as soon as possible!

Calvin Hadley was the Steam player on the receiving end of the charge from Jamieson Ree that caused the penalty and the Schaber injury, and he did not return to the game either. Hadley's injury is relatively minor and he should have no problem playing in the Steam's next game, which is after the Christmas Break.

The KIJHL now 'goes dark' for a week, as there are no games played between December 20th and 27th. After the break, the Steam have 3 more big divisional games as they play a home and home with the powerhouse Osoyoos Coyotes on December 27th (8:30PM, Osoyoos) and December 28th (7:30, Summerland) before taking on the Princeton Posse again on New Years' Eve, December 31st, at 5:30.

The Steam sit firmly in 2nd place in the Okanagan Division with 45 points and a 22-9-0-1 record. They remain 12 points behind the Osoyoos Coyotes (with 3 games in hand) and 13 points ahead of the Princeton Posse, who sit 3rd with 32 points.


Happy Holidays from the Summerland Steam Junior B Hockey Club!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

TOP LINE PROPELS STEAM PAST POSSE

On Friday night the Summerland Steam began a home and home series with the Princeton Posse to close out the pre-Christmas schedule for both teams. The two teams, set to play each other on back to back nights, see each other as much this weekend as they have in the first three months of the KIJHL season. The first leg of the home and home came in Princeton on Friday, and right from the hop the two teams were ready to play.

Summerland was a little shorthanded to start the game as the Steam were without Alex Williams and Coleton Fisher before they even got to the rink. Once they arrived, the team realized they’d be a little shorter than expected, as Michael McEachern opened his bag to find no skates. Thanks to the kindness of Posse Head Coach Bill Rotheisler who lent McEachern his own personal pair, McEachern was able to get into the game in the middle of the first period.

In a game that had everything, Summerland would come out with a 2-1 victory in what turned out to be a perfect road game. The end result was preceded by a fast paced, physical hockey game that saw both teams get several chances and both goalies stand tall.

Jack Mills would open the scoring with his 16th of the season in the first period when a puck found its way onto his stick in the slot. Much like his goal against 100 Mile House last weekend, Mills was able to corral the puck, find a hole, and rip one into the back of the net to give his team the lead. Braden Eliuk and Cole Woodliffe would draw assists on the play that put the Steam out to a 1-0 advantage.

Both Woodliffe and Mills now have 17 points in their past 12 games played, while Eliuk is the one doing all the 'dirty work' to get them the puck. He may not get on the scoresheet quite as often with 8 points in those 12 games, but he's the guy that goes deep in the corners and gets to the tough areas to retrieve pucks. All three have found chemistry on Summerland's top line since the departure of Paulsen Lautard to the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL on November 10th, and looked great against the Posse on Friday night.

After Mills opened the scoring with just over 8:00 to play in the first, Rylan Sideroff would add to the lead late in the period. With just :14 seconds left on the clock, he took a pass and hammered a slap shot past Posse goaltender Bailey Stephens. It was a perfectly placed shot that went low to the blocker side for Sideroff to collect his 4th of the season. Nelson Hurry and Cole Woodliffe drew assists on the goal, and Summerland went to the dressing room with a 2-0 lead at the end of the first. Steam starter Spencer Huff wasn’t tested much in the first period, facing just 4 shots while Summerland pounded 14 at the Princeton net.

The second period would see a massive turnaround, however, as Princeton took the pace to Summerland and got within one thanks to Brandon Schaber. Schaber was able to take a cross ice pass from Tyler Ehlers on a powerplay and wire one into a crowd in front of Spencer Huff. With a crowd in front, the puck found its way past Huff bringing the score to 2-1.

The Posse continued to press on in front of their home crowd, a fairly loud and happy one, but were unable to get another puck past Spencer Huff in the third period. Kurtis Klinger showed multiple times on the night why he's the captain and leader for the Posse, taking pucks hard to the net and fighting for every inch of space he could. Eden Dubchak was also impressive for the Posse, posing a threat whenever he was on the ice.

In the third, with the Posse pressing Summerland took a late penalty, but were able to kill it off thanks to some great penalty killing from the likes of Jack Mills, Tyson Klingspohn, Rylan Sideroff and Cole Williams. Both penalty kills were great on the night, with the only special teams goal being Schaber's 2nd period tally for the Posse. 

Despite not hitting the scoresheet on the night, I thought the Yukon line of Riley Pettitt, Jarrett Malchow and Wyatt Gale were exceptional in the game, as was newcomer Nicholas Gnazdowsky. Both Malchow and Gnazdowsky found themselves breakaways on the night, but neither was able to beat Bailey Stephens or his posts. 

After the win in Princeton on Friday, the Steam will play host in the back end of a home and home on Saturday night. It's the final game before the KIJHL 'goes dark' for a week for the Christmas break. The puck drops at 7:30 at the Summerland Arena, and Nesters Market is our game night sponsor. They’ll have some prize packs to give away as well as a full turkey dinner with all the fixins!

After a big win from Spencer Huff in Princeton Friday, expect the coaching staff to turn to veteran Brett Huber between the pipes at home on Saturday night. Alex Williams will not play for Summerland, as he's been diagnosed with a slight fracture in the scaphoid bone in his left wrist. Coleton Fisher is likely to sit out as well after suffering a concussion at the hands of 100 Mile Wranglers defenseman Tate Page last weekend. 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

STEAM VISIT POSSE IN OPENER OF HOME & HOME

After facing one another only twice in the first 3 months of the season, the Summerland Steam and the Princeton Posse will go head to head on back to back nights to close out the unofficial first half of the KIJHL season. Both teams will be sure to not look too far forward with the Christmas break immediately following their home and home series this weekend. 

Princeton comes into the weekend off a 4-2 loss to the Osoyoos Coyotes in a Noon game on Wednesday, while the Summerland Steam come in having split their 2 games last weekend, beating the 100 Mile House Wranglers 3-1 on Saturday night. 

This weekend will mark the 3rd and 4th meetings of the season between the Okanagan Division rivals, with Summerland winning both previous meetings. The Steam clipped the Posse 3-1 on October 31st before coming out on top by a score of 4-1 on November 22nd. In both games the two teams went toe-to-toe right to the very end with play going both ways all game long. There hasn't been too much bad blood shown in the rivalry to date, but a lot of very good, tough, physical hockey in the first 2 meetings.

There's no doubt, after watching this team every game of the season, that the Steam prefer to play the finesse game. They prefer to use their speed on the outside and score off the rush whenever possible, as does any team. Having said that, Summerland certainly isn't afraid of the physicality either. That trait is one that comes out primarily when they play teams like the Princeton Posse, who play a brand of hockey that can't be found anywhere else in the KIJHL. The Posse blend skill and physicality better than any other team in the league, and are extremely tough to play against. Having a mobile core of defencemen at their disposal allows the Posse to transition from defense to offense very quickly and a big forward group poses a serious threat with a relentless forecheck. They've also got a couple of proven 'finishers' in their lineup in Connor Sloan and Eden Dubchak, which make them all the more dangerous. 

The Posse play on a small ice surface and build there teams to 'pack some punch', so to speak, and they never shy away from a battle. There are some places in the KIJHL that you really don't look forward to going into as a road team, and Princeton is right up at the top of that list with the likes of Fernie Kimberly, and Golden.

Led by Captain Kurtis Klinger, the Posse are looking to improve on their 5th place finish from last season, and look very likely to do so. They sit 3rd in the division at the Christmas break, and are all but guaranteed a playoff spot with the lowly North Okanagan Knights bringing up the back end of the division with just 13 points. 

Faceoff from the Princeton & District Arena goes at 7:00 on Friday night, and you can catch the webcast at www.kijhl.ca . Last time Summerland was in Princeton, and on Wednesday against Osoyoos, the Posse were without a play-by-play man. Hopefully they'll have one for the clash on Friday night, but if not, it will be the 'sounds of the game' like last time, which was surprisingly refreshing.

** As we head into the Christmas Break, both of these clubs sit in the middle of the Okanagan Division. Summerland sits 2nd with 41 points while Princeton sits 3rd with 32 points. Princeton holds a 3 point lead on the Kelowna Chiefs while the Steam are attempting to chase down Osoyoos, trailing by 14 points but holding 4 games in hand heading into the weekend. Summerland and Osoyoos will renew acquaintances immediately following a 7 day break for Christmas with a home and home series on December 28th in Osoyoos and 29th in Summerland. 

If the playoffs started this weekend, though, the Steam and the Posse would play one another in the first round. Here's a breakdown of where each team sits right now and some of the numbers that would tell the story. 



















VS







14-13-2-2, 32 pts
RECORD
20-9-0-1, 41 pts
7-8-1-1
HOME / AWAY
RECORD
9-5
L1
(4-2 LOSS TO OSOYOOS WED)
STREAK
W1
(3-1 WIN OVER 100 MILE SAT)
3-7

LAST 10 GAMES
8-2
3RD, OKANAGAN DIVISION
DIVISION RANK
2ND, OKANAGAN DIVISION
97
3.13 GF PER GM (T-13TH, KIJHL)
GOALS FOR
106
3.53 GF PER GM (8TH, KIJHL)
101
3.26 PER GM (11TH, KIJHL)
GOALS AGAINST
79
2.63 GA PER GAME (3RD, KIJHL)
15.83% (13TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 12.50% (17TH, KIJHL)
POWERPLAY %
OVERALL: 19.42% (7TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 10.77% (16TH, KIJHL)
82.09% (11TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 85.92% (7TH, KIJHL)
PENALTY KILL %
OVERALL: 85.63% (7TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 86.08% (5TH, KIJHL)
16g + 11a = 27 PTS
LEADING SCORER
23g + 13a = 36 PTS (13TH, KIJHL)